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Tower gets council approval for Montague Precinct

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Brendan Rees

A revised plan to build a 20-storey tower at a prominent corner in the booming Montague Precinct has won the City of Port Phillip’s endorsement.

The state government is considering a planning submission for development at the site of 272-280 Normandy Rd, South Melbourne, to include a 68-metre tower and a four-storey podium that would house a medical and wellness centre, a gym and yoga facility, retail shops, a café, a restaurant, a function space, and a total of 31 apartments.

The plans also propose streetscape and landscape works on Johnson St between Normandy Rd and Munro St including a new park.

The application by developers Samma Group Pty Ltd and Spec Property originally submitted plans to build a 33-storey tower but received approval for a 24-storey tower.

In April 2022, a new proposal was lodged with the Minister for Planning to build a 20-level mixed use retail and residential tower.

The amended plans went before the City of Port Phillip’s planning committee meeting on September 29 where councillors voted unanimously in favour of the application subject to final plans.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will ultimately decide if the proposed development goes ahead.

However, it had sought the council’s position to prepare, adopt, and approve amendment C207port to the City of Port Phillip’s Planning Scheme for the proposed development site.

 

Gateway Ward Cr Peter Martin said the current application had made “significant improvements” and looked forward “to something marvellous arising on that corner block” – which is in the core area of the Montague Precinct within the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area.

 

But Cr Martin noted, “there’s still some things the officers would like to see improve and I fully support those.”

The amended plans included a request to remove four trees on Normanby Rd subject to a requirement for a tree pit system for the replacement trees.

An existing two-storey building which occupies the Normandy Rd, Johnson St and Munro St site would be demolished to make way for the development if approved.

In August, the Minister for Planning referred the application to the Fishermans Bend Standing Advisory Committee and invited the council to provide comments.

Since 2010, three previous planning applications had been submitted for development at the site including a proposed 40-storey tower.

The Montague Precinct has experienced significant growth in recent years – with some residents fearing their way of living would be compromised with issues of noise, reduced parking and dirt and dust arising.

Trisha Avery, the former head of the now defunct Montague Community Alliance, a group that represented residents and businesses, said it was important residents had a voice amid the rapid development.

“A new group has to form. The name is still there for anyone that’s wants it. It really needs to be a completely different energy now,” she said.

“If someone wanted to talk to me about starting a new group, I would be more than happy to help them start one.” •

 

Caption: An artist’s impression of the development at the Normandy Rd, Johnson St and Munro St site.

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